Stories

The Future of Facebook Marketing Is Stories

Have you been ignoring Facebook and/or Instagram Stories for marketing? Some new intel suggests that is a bad idea – because it’s the future.

I was casually reading about Stories in this article, but I quickly sat up and started taking notes. The article is pretty long and dense at times, so here are the highlights:

During Facebook’s Q3 earnings call, Stories was mentioned 71 times. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that that people will share more to Stories than they will to Facebook or Instagram’s feeds in the not-too-distant future.

“I just think that this is the future,” Zuckerberg said. “People want to share in ways that don’t stick around permanently, and I want to be sure that we fully embrace this.”

You might be thinking, “Oh god, here we go again. I have something new to learn, and I just finally mastered hashtags on Instagram!”

And you are right. You do have something new to learn, but I promise it’s not scary at all. It is easy to use, and you have plenty of time to learn how to use it. More on that below.

How Stories works

Stories is the same on Facebook and Instagram. When you open the app, it appears at the top of your feed. You can see friend’s, and you can upload your own.

To use it, simply upload photos or short videos – one or a series – just like you would to your news feed. You can then add effects and overlays (text, emojis, etc.). Once you publish it, the story is available to your friends for 24 hours – and then it disappears.

Why it’s so popular

This kind of ephemeral content was pioneered by Snapchat. It has proven to be addictive thanks to human behavior. FOMO – fear of missing out – compels users to check in each day and see what’s new.

The idea of missing something – anything! – is too scary to even contemplate. So people keep checking and posting and checking and posting. It’s an endless cycle that encourages obsessive check ins.

How to use it for marketing

You might be surprised to hear that Stories isn’t yet an effective advertising tool. The only way to interact with a Story right now is to swipe. That’s not enough for consumers. They are used to interacting with ads that appear in the news feed.

So basically, don’t use it for marketing yet! But prepared to do so in the future.

Avtar Ram Singh, who authored the above-mentioned article, shared ideas of what advertising features could look like. As a potential advertiser, you might be able to:

  • Create a poll, “slider”, quiz or contest to encourage engagement
  • Use the “Ask a Question” feature to gather feedback
  • Incorporate lead generation forms

So here’s your homework assignment: Start using Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories on your personal (not brand) account. Watch what other people post and what gets engagement.

Then try using them for your brand. Again, watch, listen and tweak your approach as you go. Once advertising features are built out, you’ll be ready to jump in feet first.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

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